Title: Anything for You
Author: Kristan Higgins
Series: Blue Heron #5
Release Date: December 29th, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Setting: Manningsport, New York
Before you get down on bended knee…
…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.
When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.
But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks.
Finally back to Blue Heron! I've read how Faith got over a broken engagement and fell for her former beau's best friend. I got to experience the highs and lows Honor experienced while running the vineyard and trying to find true love. I ached for Colleen while she put on a brave front to mourn the separation from her high school sweetheart. I fell head over heals for Jack as he recovered from his divorce and found love with one of the most unlikely women in Manningsport. Now, Connor decides it is time to make an honest woman of the girl he's loved for over a decade. It didn't occur to him she would say no.
We got a more in-depth look at Connor O'Rourke in Colleen's story, Waiting on You. I honestly thought he was kind of a jerk at first until I realized how he and his twin acted like bickering brats to each other on a daily basis. When push came to shove, I saw how much Connor cared for his sister. I got to experience that side of Connor throughout this novel and saw how much hiding his love cost him.
I've loved Jessica Dunn throughout the entire series. We didn't get to know her as well as Connor, but I always felt bad for her and the reputation she had of being Jessica Does. In this story, we get to see the true heart wrenching life Jessica has endured from day one.
Higgins is good at sprinkling in the needed backstory in each of her novels. I will warn you though, most of Jessica and Connor's backstory is told upfront and there is a lot of it. Don't let that discourage you, dear reader. It is all necessary in the end. Oh, and keep a box of tissues handy as soon as you start reading.
Life is truly a crapshoot most of the time and Jessica and her brother, Davy, have struggled with that truth their entire lives. Jessica's alcoholic parents left her brother's care up to her from shortly after his birth. Born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Davy's IQ reached about 50 and he had to have a lot of supervision. Once Jessica could, she took him away from her parents to care for him herself. Jessica being with Connor shouldn't be a problem because of Davy's difficulties, but Davy absolutely hates Connor. So, here Jessica is stuck between her rock, Connor, and her hard place, Davy. What is a woman to do when the two people she loves more than herself can't get along? She chooses blood every time.
If I were in Jessica's place, I don't know that I would do anything different. She had a huge problem she had no idea how to fix. Thank God and all the saints that Connor doesn't give up and finds a solution of his own. One that comes with a new dog named Lady Fluffy.
When Connor goes to introduce his tiny new dog to his pregnant sister and her husband, Lucas, the O'Rourke siblings cause me to go into historical laugher once again.
“Meet Lady Fluffy,” Connor said two hours later, taking the dog out of his jacket pocket. “My new best friend.”
“Oh, Hail Mary,” Colleen wheezed then bolted for the bathroom. Her gales of laughter could be heard loud and clear.
“That is one great-looking dog,” Lucas said, fighting a smile. “Really manly. A poodle, is she?”
“Maltipoo. And shut up.”
“You gonna put a bow in her hair?” Lucas broke and started laughing.
“I repeat—shut up. Jessica’s brother picked her out for me.”
“God, you are whipped,” Lucas said.
“And you’re not?”
“Point taken.” He went over to the ladies room and knocked. “Mia, are you okay in there?”
Colleen emerged from the bathroom, wiping her eyes. “She’s really cute, Con. When you said you were getting a dog, I just pictured you ... with ... with a ...” The laughter started again.
“Get her out of here,” Connor told Lucas. “Leave, Dog-Face. Go push out that baby rhino.”
She stuck out her tongue.
Higgins again thrills me with laugh out loud dialogue and brilliant story development. I'm truly thankful that I was privileged to read another masterpiece from this one-of-a-kind storyteller.
Thank you Kristan Higgins, Netgalley, and Harlequin HQN for gifting me with a copy of Anything for You in exchange for an honest review. I pray that this series goes on. There are so many more characters in Manningsport who need to find love. Maybe Gerard Chartier or Ned Vanderbeek? Hint, hint.
If you haven't read this series, you can drop everything and start right now!
PRE-ORDER or BUY on December 29th, 2015
About Kristan Higgins
Kristan divides her time between home in Connecticut and summers on Cape Cod. She is the mother of two lovely kids, the wife of a brave firefighter, and a devoted Ben & Jerry's fan. Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous naps...so much more satisfying than folding laundry. She holds a BA in English, which enables her to identify dangling participles and quote many great novels.
Find Kristan Higgins